Wondering whether it’s time to fire your current SEO provider? Here we’ll look at five things to look for which may indicate that a change is in your best interest.
1. Your SEO provider can’t explain what success looks like
Ask your SEO the following questions and see what kind of answers you get:
- What are our primary target transactional keywords?
- Where do we currently rank for our transactional keywords, and what do we need to do to improve positioning?
- If we achieve top three rankings for our target transactional keywords, what kind of return can we expect?
- What are our primary target informational keywords?
- What pieces of content have you published to optimize for our informational keywords?
- If we achieve top three rankings for our target informational keywords, what kind of return can we expect?
- What are we doing to be continually getting new backlinks?
If you hear a bunch of stuttering, “ers” and “uhs”, or attempting to “talk over your head” it’s probably because your SEO provider does not have a clear picture of what success looks like for your firm online. This indicates a lack of strategic foresight, and you’d be well served getting an outside set of eyes on your project.
2. Your website has significant display or functionality issues
If you’re paying your SEO company every month you ought to expect that they proactively monitor and QA your website to ensure that all is in order. That’s not to say that your site should be 100% error free, but there should not be any significant display or functionality issues.
You don’t need to be a technical expert to determine whether your website is technically sound. All you have to do is use your website. Navigate your site like a potential client would and look for issues:
- Browse your site on your mobile device. Does it load reasonably fast? Is the navigation intuitive? Is the content easy to read? Is it easy to contact your firm from the site?
- Browse your site on a variety of browsers (especially Safari, Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Firefox) on your lap or desktop computer. Does the site display properly on each?
If you find significant website display and functionality issues it may be a sign that your SEO company is not paying adequate attention to your project.
3. You aren’t delighted by deliverables
Back in “the day” many SEO agencies didn’t employ creatives like designers and copywriters because it wasn’t necessary. A webmaster with a fundamental knowledge of SEO could simply optimize the site, build some crappy links, and bam! The results would follow.
Modern SEO requires a broad set of capabilities.
If your SEO agency consistently delivers assets – infographics, articles, videos, landing pages, etc. – that don’t delight you, it could be because they have failed to hire the skilled personnel required to execute a successful modern SEO program. If your SEO provider’s deliverables don’t make you smile, it may be time to look elsewhere.
4. Your reports don’t clearly show consistent progress (or you don’t get reports)
At Juris Digital we report to our SEO clients monthly. Our reports include the following details:
Key Performance Indicators:
- Google Analytics Traffic trends (traffic by source, compared to previous period, etc.)
- Keyword Rankings
- Conversions (website forms, click-to-call, LiveChat, etc.)
Details of Monthly Work Completed
- Details of all content marketing including new content published
- Details of all link building efforts including all new links placed
- Details of all website and optimization changes
Agenda for Month Ahead
- Details of all initiatives and areas of focus for the coming month
If your SEO company does not provide reports which clearly and transparently explain how your site is performing, what work has been completed, and what initiatives are on-deck, it’s probably because your project is being neglected, or because the agency does not have confidence in their strategy.
5. Your SEO company works with your competitors
This one is a no-brainer. If your SEO company is willing to work with your competitors, you deserve better. I’m not saying that it’s impossible for a company to get results for two clients in the same market, but it’s a clear conflict and a sign that your firm’s long-term success is not their top priority.
Some bad reasons to switch SEO companies:
- They made a mistake. Mistakes happen, especially when your SEO company is proactively and aggressively working toward your goals. I suggest that you not over-react to a small mistake every now and then.
- It’s been 3 months and you haven’t seen results. SEO takes time to bear fruit – normally at least 6 months. Give your SEO a fair shake. If you pull the plug too fast you’ll likely regret it.
- They won’t do things your way. A qualified SEO professional should be confident in the strategy they’ve created for you. You should expect push-back if you’re suggesting tactics that do not fit with your SEO’s vision for your project.
Still have questions about when you should consider switching SEO companies? Please leave them in the comments below!